by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you (John 15:12).
12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
17These things I command you, that ye love one another.
18If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
22If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
By nature man is prone to hate God and his neighbor. True, there is a kind of selfish love among the children of the world. They love those that love them, and do good to those from whom they expect to receive good in return. But a Christian is even to love his enemies, and do good unto them. No natural man will do that; but rather, when he is hated, reviled, and persecuted, will try to retaliate and seek revenge. It is only through the grace of God that a Christian will love his enemies, rendering not evil for evil, but contrariwise, blessing. But how imperfect is our love even to the brethren! When we ought to love them with a pure heart fervently, we become cold and indifferent toward them when they have offended us by word or deed. But if they have really offended against the truth, should not our love prompt us to restore them in the spirit of meekness?
Time and again we are exhorted in the Word of God to love one another. John writes: "This is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another." Again: "Beloved let us love one another: for love is of God." The love of God toward us unworthy, sinful creatures ought to prompt us to love one another. "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him." "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" There the Lord commands his blessing, even life for evermore.
Our Father in heaven, help us to realize that Thou hast loved us with an everlasting love. Thou hast so loved us that Thou hast given Thine only begotten Son for us to suffer and die, that we might have life. O God, if Thou didst so love us, help us to realize that we ought also to love one another. We pray Thee, dwell Thou in our hearts by Thy Spirit, and may Thy love be perfected in us. For Christ's sake. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Luke 6:32,33; Matt. 5:44; 1 Pet. 3:9; 1:12; Gal. 6:1; 1 John 3:11; 4:7, 9, 11; Ps. 133:1-3.
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